Sports spotlight: Finding my identity through figure skating

Jacy Robbins, guest columnist

Since I was four-years-old, I’ve been swapping out my sneakers with figure skates. Gliding across the ice and maneuvering on the edges of thin metal blades had become even easier than walking. I dedicated hours and to perfecting, every jump, spin, and move before and after school for years.

At the conclusion of last year’s competition season, I made the difficult decision to cease competing at the individual level. It wasn’t that my love for the sport had faltered, but the monotony of continuous runs of my routine and consistency drills was not allowing my passion for skating to thrive.

Although this decision caused me to grapple with the uncomfortable feeling of giving up a strict practice schedule I had become accustomed to, I unlocked so many other opportunities. I was finally able to complete my U.S. Figure Skating Freestyle Gold Medal, something I had always wanted to do before leaving for college. Finally having the opportunity to complete every freestyle test which U.S. Figure Skating had to offer was beyond fulfilling and a very full circle moment in my skating career since my childhood coach was able to watch me pass my final test.

I have also been able to shift my focus to the Glenbrook South Figure Skating team. Our team (combined with Glenbrook North’s skaters), has been very successful over my four years at Glenbrook South. We were crowned Illinois Season Champions in 2020 despite our season being cut short by Covid-19 and virtual competitions became a blessing in disguise, allowing us to attend and win High School Nationals two years in a row. Despite all these successes, high school skating competitions often got swept under the rug compared to the nerves and pressure dedicated to individual competitions. Now, I’m able to enjoy high school competitions as a more fun, light-hearted, and collaborative way of competing.

Aside from synchronized skating, figure skating is not usually a team sport nor a school sport so I am very thankful to be able to compete alongside my peers doing something I love.